Cloud Taking Over the World, Says Okta CEO

Cloud is just getting started says Okta CEO, Todd McKinnon. He says that everyone talks about the how cloud has come of age, but it’s really at only 20 percent of $1 trillion in IT spend. “We’re still in the early days of cloud adoption,” says McKinnon. “We’re very excited about the runway ahead and the value we can provide, in that context of really… cloud taking over the world.”

Todd McKinnon, CEO & Co-Founder of Okta, recently talked to Jim Cramer on CNBC about the massive future still ahead for cloud computing and Okta:

We’re the Plumbing, We’re the Infrastructure

We’re changing their world. We’re making it incredibly easy for them to connect to all their technology. Whether they’re logging into their business applications at work or they’re a customer of one of our customers, logging into a website, making their customer experience more enjoyable and more secure. They’re big fans of Okta.

We help our customers both directly, where their end users can see what we do in some cases. But in many cases, we’re behind the scenes, we’re the plumbing, we’re the infrastructure, that’s making their technology secure and making the end user experience super enjoyable. We’re happy to place to play both roles because at the end of the day it’s about making customers successful with any technology they want to use. Whatever they choose to use we will fit in with it and will make their lives productive.

Cloud is Taking Over the World

This is our ten-year anniversary. We’re incredibly excited about ten years. and during those 10 years, we’ve benefited from several trends that are really lifting us to these new heights. The main one is cloud computing. Cloud has progressed tremendously over the last ten years, but the most exciting thing is it’s really just getting started.

If you look at the overall IT spending market, it’s over a trillion dollars of IT spend. Everyone talks about the how cloud they think the cloud has come of age, but it’s still only 20 percent of that. It’s about $200 billion. We’re still in the early days of cloud adoption. We’re very excited about the runway ahead and the value we can provide in that context of really… cloud taking over the world.

Adobe Has Done Something Amazing

We help Adobe in a couple of really important ways. They’ve been a longtime customer of ours. The first way is that we help their business customers connect into the Creative Cloud. The second way we help them is we help their 20,000 employees connect into all the applications they need to do their job at Adobe.

Adobe is an interesting story, not just because it’s an Okta customer, but they’ve done something very amazing. They’ve transitioned their business from a package software business to a cloud business. You’ve seen the results in their business and in their strategic position in the market. We were lucky enough to play a helping role as we helped that login securely to that new Creative Cloud product they’ve had in the market for the last four or five years.

We Are Focused on What Customers Need

We help enterprises get rid of those passwords. Our customers that use Okta for their employees, they have one single login credential that takes them into all their applications. It greatly simplifies the end-user experience and as a result, makes it way more secure and way more productive.  At the end of the day, it’s about how productive you can make your people and how great you can make the experience and how attractive you are as an employer and the kind of people you can attract.

There are companies that have similar solutions. We at Okta are trying to be focused on what our customers need and not get too caught up in a platform player that’s trying to do what we’re doing or a niche upstart that’s trying to copy some of our features. We are really focused on what do the customers need? Do they need help connecting to their customers? Do they need help with certain kinds of security architectures that are emerging as they move to more of a cloud central model?

From the beginning of the company over the last ten years, we’ve been incredibly customer-centric, listening to what customers needed and having that be our North Star. That’s worked incredibly well. It’s not a coincidence (that I sound like Marc Benioff). I worked at Salesforce for six years. I basically learned the ropes of cloud computing from Marc and the entire team at Salesforce. So it’s not it’s not a shock that there are a lot of similarities there.

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Arun Shrestha

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